We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.
I ventured to Miami last week to cover Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Swim. While there were tons of designers offering covetable swimwear, Mara Hoffman’s colorful tribal-inspired pieces were a standout favorite. The beauty was equally enviable, which is why I had to stop backstage to meet the magicmakers.
The Vibe: Desert bohemian with a biker edge.
Blair Badge is one multi-talented lady: she’s a social media manager, a beauty editor for fashion site Chictopia, a model, a newlywed and an all-around awesome gal with a penchant for witty banter. Her dreamy blog, love, blair, is a heady mix of all her talents in one and we can’t get enough of her style and beauty advice. This week, she’s sharing her DIY beauty tips, like how to create a pretty custom lip color and how to get perfect beachy waves.
For you gals who prefer a simplified morning routine, this undone summer hairstyle is especially for you!
Step #1: Give your second-day “bed head” hair a boost with Redken’s Powder Refresh Dry Shampoo. Spray directly at roots throughout the crown section and rub in for extra lift.
Step #2: Smooth out the front sections by creating a gentle wave with a flatiron. I get this effect by rock the flatiron back and forth along the hair shaft.
Step #3: Lightly flatiron the bottom two inches of hair to rid your mane of any scraggily pieces.
Step #4: Spray TIGI Session Series Salt Spray generously from ears to ends and tousle with fingertips. Twist a couple bottom pieces with your index finger for the finished boho-effect!
For surfer girl waves, we love Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray.
Presentation: Haus Alkire
Hair: Nick Irwin for TIGI
Makeup: Lyne Desnoyers for M.A.C.
Nails: Priti NYC using Blue Atlas Cedar
The Vibe: Abstract and edgy, but still feminine. To mirror the theme of detailed graphic designs and textures in the Haus Alkire collection, TIGI's global creative director and lead stylist Nick Irwin created an inventive, complex style. “We wanted movement on the top, so we created this crisscross weave,” said Irwin of the detailed 'do. Important products to get this look were Session Series Wet Look Gel and Session Series True Wax, which were literally painted on to hair using a color brush to create a vinyl-like appearance.
The Presentation: Chris Benz
Hair: Nick Irwin for TIGI
Makeup: Daniel Martin for Lancôme
The Vibe: A modern take on 1960s vintage. “The muse was Judy Garland at the end of her career, kind of trashy,” said TIGI lead stylist Nick Irwin. “There’s this famous TV interview with her in the late ’60s when she was quite drunk, so it was about that kind of quirkiness.” To get the crazy piled-high hair, Irwin and his team used wigs, which Irwin described as a “ballsy” choice on the part of designer Chris Benz. Apparently, working with fake hair can be more of a challenge than working with the real deal. “The wigs are inexpensive and come with this strong wave in their hair,” explained Irwin. “We’re completely deconstructing the texture, really sort of changing the fabric of the wig by basically using a full can of dry shampoo on each.” (Indeed, there was quite the graveyard of empty TIGI Catwalk Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo cans.) Once faux strands had been sufficiently sprayed, stylists used load of pins to achieve a truly kooky and unique shape for each model. “It’s maybe the silhouette of a beehive, but the detail and the texture keeps it really modern and fresh and quite young,” said Irwin.
Presentation: Erin by Erin Fetherston
Hair: Nick Irwin, TIGI
Makeup: James Kaliardos, M.A.C.
Nails: Sheril Bailey for Zoya
The Vibe: Woodsy fairies. Erin Fetherston loves the ethereal nymph look, so it was no surprise to see models with very girly, whimsical hair. All in all, there were three styles: beachy waves, low ponys, and topknots. “The topknot was inspired by Tinker Bell,” explained Eric Gomez, a TIGI stylist who collaborated closely with the lead, Steve Irwin, on the looks. “[Erin Fetherston] didn’t want it too clean, so we distressed it a bit and kept it slightly off center,” he explained of the windblown, romantic bun. Only two products were used for all three styles: Catwalk by TIGI Session Series Salt Spray and Catwalk by TIGI Session Series Finishing Hairspray.
The Show: Mara Hoffman
The Hair: Nick Irwin for TIGI
The Makeup: Lottie for Make Up For Ever
The Vibe: 90’s bronze goddesses meet South American Shaman cowboys. Lottie, head makeup artist for Make Up For Ever, used “lots of shades of metallic browns, bronzes and gold. It’s just all about highlights. It’s all about the contours and the eyes.” The cheeks were contoured with Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze and accented with Make Up For Ever Shine On Powder from the tops of the cheeks to the temples. Lottie used Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow #17 and Aqua Cream #14 on the eyes and placed Metal Powder #2 on the corners of the eyes with a wet brush. Finally, she lined eyes with Kohl Pencil #9 and added a coat of Smoky Lash mascara.
The Show: Helmut Lang
The Nails: Essie
The Makeup: Sunday Riley
The Hair: TIGI
The Vibe: All natural. The models backstage at last night’s Helmut Lang show looked as though they had just returned from a chic camping trip. The makeup by Sunday Riley was minimal and focused on fresh skin and the hair by TIGI was roughed up and pulled back into loose, low messy ponytails.
I’ve been covering fashion shows for a few seasons now, and I’m rarely surprised by anything that goes on backstage. But at yesterday’s J. Mendel show, revered Revlon makeup artist Gucci Westman threw me for a loop. “There’s not really a clear inspiration, per se,” said Westman when I asked her about the look. What? No inspiration?! Despite being a little startled, I continued the interview. “It’s kind of a more cool, futuristic girl,” explained Westman.
Revlon’s Gucci Westman doing makeup for Karolina Kurkova backstage at J.Mendel
Aside from the fresh, dewy skin (courtesy of Revlon’s Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator), my favorite part was the smudgy eye makeup. A mix of greys, browns, metallics, and pearls, Westman was applying a range of moody shades. “It’s very like how these kind of girls would wear their makeup,” said Westman. “It’s edgy, it’s tougher. It’s the opposite of glamorous.”
The models’ hair also echoed the-night-before vibe with TIGI stylists working diligently to create coarse, stiff styles using copious amounts of Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray. “It’s a bit sort of Debbie Harry-inspired. A bit punky, a bit grungy,” said Paul Hanlon of TIGI about the severe look.
Parted off to the side and matted down with plenty of Session Series Work It Spray, the models all rocked netting over their hair up until showtime. “It’s to press the hair to keep it flat,” explained Hanlon of the temporary lunch-lady effect. “The idea is to make it look like they’ve had a hat on.” Intentional hat hair? You’ve gotta love fashion week.
Check out the rest of our FW coverage here!
Sporty was the word on everyone’s lips backstage at Pier 57 before the Helmut Lang show this morning. Both the hair and makeup were designed to complement the clothes and maintain the distinct Helmut Lang aesthetic.
Stylist Paul Hanlon, of TIGI, created a look for the hair that was greasy, slicked back and looked as though the models had been out “head-banging at a rock concert all night” before scraping their hair back with their fingers and tying it into a messy bun. Hanlon prepped each model’s hair with Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray to give it texture before working nearly an entire tube of Catwalk Session Series Styling Cream into the hair. Stylists worked the product in with their fingers and pulled hair back into tight buns, leaving the long, uneven ends loose and finishing with a shine spray.
The makeup, designed by Lisa Butler for Temptu, was similarly aggressive with strong brows that were sprayed on and eye shadow that covered the entire lid. As makeup artist Cory Bishop put it, sporty isn’t necessarily pretty. Still, with neutral colors, a light creamy lip, hydrated skin, and just a touch of “sunset glow” highlighter on the cheeks, the makeup was infinitely more wearable than the hair.
Keep checking back for more of our NYFW coverage all week and visit Birchbox.com to see our special FNO Limited Edition box!